Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Tehran to Kiev, operated by Ukraine International Airlines.

On the 8th of January 2020, the Boeing 737–800 operating this route crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport.

All 176 passengers and crew were killed, making it the deadliest aviation disaster in Iran in more than a decade.

The crash surpassed Air India Express Flight 812 as the deadliest incident involving the Boeing 737-800 and places second in the number of deaths involving the Boeing 737 series, right after the Lion Air Flight 610. The crash was the first fatal aviation incident for Ukraine International Airlines since the start of its operation in 1992.

Iranian Civil Aviation Organization spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh reported shortly after the incident that a team of investigators had been sent to the crash site. The head of the commission for accidents in the Iranian CAO said that they received no emergency message from the aircraft before the crash.

It was reported that the aircraft’s black boxes (the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder) had been recovered, but spokesman Ali Abedzadeh said it was not clear to which country the box would be sent so that its data could be analysed.

Iran’s aviation authority has said it will not hand over the black boxes either to the aircraft’s manufacturer or US aviation authorities.

Under standard International Civil Aviation Organisation rules, America’s National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) would participate in the investigation, as they represented the state of the manufacturer of the aircraft. France’s Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA) would participate as representatives of the state of manufacture of the aircraft’s engines and Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure would participate as representatives of the state in which the aircraft was registered.

Wreckage of Flight 752, with part of an engine in the foreground, showing nozzle guide vanes.

Given the current tensions in Iran, it is not known how these organisations would be involved, although it was reported that Iran had stated that American, French and Ukrainian authorities would be involved.

On the 8th of January, the Ukrainian government said that it would send experts to Tehran to assist with the investigation. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky instructed the Ukrainian General Prosecutor to open a criminal investigation into the crash. The Ukrainian Embassy in Iran initially said that preliminary details pointed to engine failure, but it retracted the statement shortly thereafter.

Later the same day, the Embassy said that anything was possible and refused to rule out that the aircraft was struck by a missile.

On the same day, Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry released a statement that the aircraft burst into flames after a fire started in one of its engines, causing the pilot to lose control and crash into the ground.

According to aviation expert Vadim Lukashevich it was clear there was a fire on board, however ruling out a shootdown would be premature:

“An engine fire does not exclude the possibility that it was caused by a missile strike.”

Some aviation experts considered it too early to discuss causes. However, many did agree that the aircraft may have suffered a sudden and violent catastrophic failure, caused either by an engine failure or missile attack.

This was evidenced by the flight data that abruptly cut off during its climb, which was noted as “very unusual”.

Former inspector general of the U.S Department of Transportation Mary Schiavo criticised Iranian officials’ quick decision to declare the cause of the crash as engine failure, claiming that “there was no way for Iran to know it was engine failure,” while aviation monitoring group Opsgroup stated they “would recommend the starting assumption to be that this was a shootdown event, similar to MH17 – until there is clear evidence to the contrary”, asserting that photographs “show obvious projectile holes in the fuselage and a wing section”.

Some aviation experts also shared the same opinion that a catastrophic engine failure is very unlikely—though not impossible—to cause an aircraft to burst into flames in mid-air and crash, claiming that such incidents are very rare.

However, security sources from Western countries—three Americans, one European and one Canadian—stated that initial findings did not suggest a missile attack and rather indicated that the aircraft had a technical malfunction.

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Steve Martin
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Steve Martin

There’s also an image going around of Tor missile nose debris on the ground, allegedly near the crash site. People are trying to geolocate to little success.

John Fedup
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John Fedup

“Western security sources say initial findings suggest a technical malfunction”…duh, what initial findings? Fake news!

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

Only thing I can think of is they had a lot of ISTAR eyes on Iran and didn’t detect any SAM launches?

ChariotRider
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ChariotRider

Not an unreasonable assumption given that the plane was reported as going down at about the time the Iranians were launching a notified (to the Iraqi’s) missile strike. I would have thought lots of assets including satelites would have been covering pretty much the whole country with the specific aim of detecting and identifying missile launches, so must SAM boasters would generate sufficient flare to get at least some initial attention.

Helions
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Helions

actually U.S. states they detected two IR flashes on the ground followed by a large one in the air at the same time the jet went down…

Cheers

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

Yup, my post is now officially out of date 😀

Helions
Guest
Helions

“False News”! 😀

Helions
Guest
Helions

Terribly sorry… Been aching to use that one…

😀

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

😁 Hoofin!

James
Guest
James

Seems like a huge coincidence that an aircraft built by a company already in crisis, full of Ukrainians-a country that has caused a crisis in the white House would go down on the exact night Iran launches it’s missiles. Very odd

dave12
Guest
dave12

I dont think the Ukraine is to blame for trumps bad decisions, what are you driving at? lol

Steve
Guest
Steve

Trumps bad decisions??? – Europe has been repeating Neville Chamberlain at Munich 38: ‘Peace in our time’ at any price by appeasing Iran’s blanant intervention throughout the Middle East. Some 600 US soldiers killed by the Iranian sponsored Shia groups??

dave12
Guest
dave12

Sorry steve I should of be more clearer with my comment ,I meant his bad decision in to trying to black mail the Ukraine,I actually agree with trumps decision on killing the Iran general ,and im very aware of the deaths caused by him as my brother served in Iraq.

Mike
Guest
Mike

If we blame Trump for this it will open the door to every tin pot dictator in the world to commit atrocities and then say Trump made me do it.

Do you know how many stages and Integrated Air Defence System has to go though before launch.An S300 can detect up to three hundred possible threats and whittle that down to sixty actual threats.From acquisition to actual kill is a long process suggesting a deliberate shoot. down

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Comparing Iran to Nazi Germany? Come on ffs?

Who has Iran recently invaded?

Yeah they fund and arm militants, if they keep doing that for the next 50 years they will still not reach the level of funding and arms that has come from the USA, Saudi Arabia and the rest that has supplied their own headchopers

Of course, USA gets involved in another continent thousands of miles of way, absolutely fine

Iran doing it in its own back yard trying to actually end wars, they need wiped out

Mike
Guest
Mike

In early 2018, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen discovered an Iranian Sayyad-2C missile round of the same type that shot down the American Global Hawk. It was apparently destined for the Houthi rebels, together with an Iranian-made passive electronic receiver that could silently produce targeting solutions for the missile using GPS and other air traffic control signals given off by military and commercial craft. If employed effectively (whether by the Houthis or operators from Iran or Hezbollah), the missile would have been capable of shooting down a high-value target such as a large AWACS surveillance plane or tanker aircraft, To… Read more »

Joseph R
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Joseph R

Iran is arming its proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lenannon, Yemen and Afghanistan with the intention of ending wars? Would you care to elaborate on this? Do you imply that the political end-conditions of Iran building an empire in the Middle East, at the direct expense of the sovereign countries it neighbors, and becomming a nuclear power, would be more peaceful than multilateral cooperation between those constituents if they all just kept their sovereignty and interacted like normal countries do? With respect, from where I am sitting it looks more like Iran is endeavouring to contribute to as much bloodshed as… Read more »

farouk
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farouk
Rob
Guest
Rob

US has just released claims that Iranian air defence shot down the airliner. I thought so yesterday. 747’s don’t just drop out of the sky, they are a well tried and tested design. It also tells us much about the Iranians capability – ballistic missiles that can’t reach a target because of rubbish guidance and an area air defence infrastructure that can’t tell friend from foe. It also tells us that they were absolutely s***ing it over the immediate US response.

However it doesn’t bring all the poor people who died back. RIP.

Herodotus
Guest

No Rob, it’s a 737-800. An aircraft with a huge pedigree (unlike the Max). Having read Flight International for the last 50 years, my immediate thought was that this aircraft has been hit by something. Mass disintegration could be a result of sudden de-compression…but this aircraft was simply not high enough. Had an engine failed and the crew not been able to cope we would almost certainly seen large sections of the aircraft extent, or a bloody great hole in the ground. This aircraft disintegrated whilst in flight…either something big detonated inside it, or it was in collision with another… Read more »

Rob
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Rob

Thanks. My misprint, it was a 737. However these don’t just fall out of the sky being the most popular airliner in the world. Terrible, terrible for the victims and families but the incompetence of the Iranians is now exposed. Again you are correct about the crash footprint. These aircraft can glide. Most internal failures would result in a glide pattern crash site not a flaming explosive field. My money is on a SAM strike.

Herodotus
Guest

Yes, I agree…thanks Rob

OldSchool
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OldSchool

I admit I’m a bit cautious on the pics of the missile tail and nose. At the very least one would wonder if they have been posed – given they are both in a section of curbing or such. Having said that…..it’s a missile attack period.
As for accidental one would presume so – I suspect signals intercepts would confirm this but 5-eyes may not release such. Iran of course won’t own up to it – after all 1/2 the casualties were Iranian citizens….

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

I must agree, the aircraft was simply to low for explosive decompression. The size and state of the debris field suggests a catastrophic failure. You simply do not get that type of debris field from a failed engine and the aircraft falling to erath. If the engine did explode, the main compressor shroud contain the majority of the parts. The small pieces of airframe scattered over a larger area and lack of substantial pieces together, suggests the aircraft was shattered by a explosion. The part of the cabin just after the cockpit shows a number of holes that have evidence… Read more »

SardaukaR
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SardaukaR
Herodotus
Guest

Since the US assassination of the Iranian General, 137 Iranians have died and 200 have been injured. All because of incompetence! If I were Iranian, I think that I would emigrate!

Helions
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Helions
Helions
Guest
Helions
Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Quite sure the NSA, GCHQ, and their 5 eyes agency partners know exactly what happened. They probably won’t want to reveal too much even though by now the world should be aware just how capable they are.

Helions
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Helions

To be released a spoon full at a time when it suits them I’m sure. The anguish of the families not withstanding… Such is the world in which we live.

Cheers

Helions
Guest
Helions
Helions
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Helions
Herodotus
Guest

Well, according to the BBC the Iranians have admitted that they shot down the 737 with a SAM. They really didn’t have a leg to stand on in proving some other cause. Somebody, at last, in the Iranian administration has taken a leap forward…own up now and forget about months/years of bitter recriminations. The leaders of the Russian Federation might take a leaf out of the Iranian’s book. Their disgusting denials over the Malaysian 777 and our cheery Novochok assassins are putrid examples of their contempt for common decency and international law. To my mind, Iran now stands head and… Read more »

Charlie
Guest
Charlie

I agree in some respects, but it’s worth noting that Iran would never had admitted to this if they didn’t have to in the face of things, it wasn’t out of a sense of moral decency.

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

Hmm, question is how did it happen? Clearly human error, but the various excuses now being given simply ridicule the Iranians!! Firstly – the aircraft had the altitude and posture of a hostile aircraft? Utter garbage – it was climbing AWAY from.the airport on a pre-designated flightpath in controlled airspace posing no threat whatsoever. Secondly – it was mistaken for a cruise missile…………not much you can say except only a complete idiot could think that!! The radar return would clearly identify the aircraft as something much bigger! It would appear the Iranians have no concept of modern warfare, there is… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

Paul – good points. How on earth did they not have an awareness of the traffic going out of the country’s main international airport? Either they are very thick (unlikely) or there is even more to this than meets the eye. Possible scenarios are that there were US aircraft / drones in the area or the SAM was fired by a rogue player or, conceivably, there was some kind of malfunction in the command & control loop. Whatever it is a tragedy. People above saying Iran did the right thing in owning up. Well yes but they new the moment… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

Credit where credit is due Rob….it doesn’t hurt, especially when other nations are content just to lie!

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

Despite all the bluster that comes out of Iran, in reality I believe the vast majority of their Military are actually really scared of the US Military and its capabilities. After the ineffective attempt to strike the two bases in Iraq, there were no doubt very deep fears of a US retaliation which would have proved truly devastating had it occurred. The individuals involved probably panicked if they saw even the slightest deviation in course of the airliner. Complete lack of communication and understanding played a key role in this tragedy.

Mike
Guest
Mike

No one seems to have taken in to account the psychologial aspect.The top guy of the Quods has been taken out.This guy was revered almost as a saint in Iran and is killed by the infidel.Those in the higher eschelons are furious and immediately launch a strike at an in range base housing Americans.Apparantly they didnt get through the Patriot shield.This was insult upon insult.If any one thinks that Iran would have been satisfied with a failed SS missile attack obviously doesn’t know the middle Eastern mind. Some one ordered an attack at any available target. Regarding the hit aircraft.What… Read more »

dave12
Guest
dave12

Here here, well said!!!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

You know H when you don’t politics you talk absolute sense! And I found myself agreeing with the vast majority of your recent posts! Damn this could be a great year! And I promise to be a little more mature in my replies and comments, however I will still challenge, in my peasant like way, things and comments I think are tosh. Olive branch…….

Herodotus
Guest

A noble gesture….I will do likewise 🙂

Herodotus
Guest

Oh, and a great New-Year to you, may it be bright and successful. I would like to offer my best wishes to Daniele as well 🙂